Commencement Day Procedures for Graduates

Congratulations! Graduation is one of the most rewarding experiences in your academic journey. The Commencement Ceremony is held once a year in mid-May. If you obtain your degree at the end of the Fall semester, we encourage you to participate in May.

Kapi’olani Community College traditionally holds its commencement ceremonies on the last day of the spring term. All graduates MUST register to participate in the ceremony. Please refer to the deadlines below.


Commencement “Walk” Policy
To participate in the annual Commencement Ceremony, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Candidates for any Associate Degree must be within nine (9) credits of completing the requirements for the degree. If you are completing your final classes in the Summer term but would like to “walk” in the Spring Commencement Exercises, you must first check with your counselor for clearance and they will notify the Graduation Office that you will be walking early.
  • Candidates for any Certificate must have earned, or be enrolled in, all of the requirements for the certificate.
  • “Walking” is the term used to indicate student participation in Commencement exercises. Walking in KCC’s Commencement exercises, however, does not necessarily indicate degree completion or a guarantee thereof. Only when all requirements are completed will a student’s degree be awarded.
  • Eligibility to Walk: Students who have completed all degree and or certificate requirements are eligible to Walk in the Commencement ceremonies.
  • Conditions: “Walkers” who have not completed all degree requirements will not have their names printed in the Commencement program.

Things “TO DO” Prior to Commencement

  • If you have not done so yet, please fill out and submit a “Commencement Application” form. We will use the information submitted to create your name card, which will be read to introduce you during the ceremony. Make sure to select “Send me a copy of my response” before you submit your application. This will serve as your “receipt” and confirmation to participate in the Commencement Exercises. You will need to bring this to KISC in order to pick up your name card.
  • Pick up your name card. Be sure to hold on to this card since it will be your “ticket” to enter the cafeteria on Commencement Day. Name cards will be available for pick up until 4:00 p.m. the day BEFORE Commencement Exercises. (See deadlines below)
  • Purchase your tassel, cap, and gown from the Kapi‘olani CC Bookstore. Cap and gowns usually go on sale the 2nd week of April. The cost is approximately $36.00. Each graduate will receive 10 complimentary graduation announcements; additional announcements will also be available for purchase.
  • Register to attend Commencement Orientation.


Cap and Gowns available for purchase at the Bookstore Monday, April 13-Thursday, May 14, 2015
Last day to apply to participate in the Commencement Exercises Friday, May 1, 2015
Deadline to request disability accommodations Friday, May 1, 2015
Deadline to request “do not share” contact information with photographer Friday, May 1, 2015
Commencement Exercises

*Students MUST report by 4:30 p.m.
*Ceremony begins promptly at 6 p.m.

Friday, May 15, 2015



Before You Arrive

  • You must wear your cap and gown in order to participate in the ceremony.
    • Please come dressed in your cap and gown. Once you check in, you will NOT have time to to your car to retrieve these items. Tassels on your caps should hang on the right of your cap until after the symbolic conferring of degrees. The front of the cap, which has the shorter point, should be centered directly over your nose. The cap should be worn squarely on the top of the head. Women, it helps to secure your cap with bobby pins. Please refrain from decorating your caps with any items that may obstruct the view of your fellow candidates seated behind you.
  • Dress Code: All graduates will be seated on the lawn. Therefore, it is HIGHLY recommended that you dress appropriately and professionally for such an auspicious occasion.
    • For Women: Do not wear stiletto heels as you will be going up and down stairs and it may also get stuck in the grass as you make your way down during the recessional.
    • For Men: It is recommended that you wear solid-colored shirts with a collar (ties optional, but a nice touch), dark trousers, socks, and dress shoes.
  • Note: Large bags (purses, backpacks, etc.), placards or signage, beach balls, and pets (service animals excluded) will not be allowed. Plan to have your guests keep your personal belongings until after the ceremony.
  • Note to Parents: Children (including infants) will not be allowed to accompany graduates in the ceremony. Please plan to have your guests watch your children during the ceremony.
  • Weather: The commencement ceremony will be held outdoors on the Great Lawn, rain or shine. Graduates and guests are advised to dress appropriately… and for guests, to come prepared.
  • Seating: General seating will be available on a first-come, first serve basis. We strongly recommend that your guests arrive early to avoid the last minute crush right before the ceremonies are to begin. Also, advise your guests that photographs and videos may be taken from their seats only.

What To Expect (Day of)

  • Check-in: Report promptly at 4:30 PM sharp to check-in. Check-in will be separated by schools (i.e. AA Liberal Arts & AS Liberal Arts, all others)
    • Be sure you have your tassel, cap, gown and name card with you. For further information about Commencement Day, please refer to  Commencement Information. Please note that some of the procedures have changed.
    • You must show your name card to enter the cafeteria.
  •  Upon arrival at the Ohia cafeteria:
    • Once you enter the Cafeteria, you will not be allowed to exit until the ceremony begins. No family, children, or visitors are allowed in the cafeteria.  *Do not bring handbags, backpacks, etc. No one will be watching the cafeteria during the ceremony; we will not be responsible if your items are stolen or lost.
    • You will be directed to your designated area and must remain with your respective “schools” until after the ceremony.
    • At 5:00 p.m. we will rehearse the chant which will be performed during the ceremony. Please click here for the YouTube video.
  • Processional (Ceremony Begins):
    • The Processional will begin promptly at 6:00 PM under the direction of your college marshals.
    • Caps should be worn at all times except during the playing of Hawaiʻi Ponoʻi, the Alma Mater and the National Anthem, when men should remove their caps.
    • Rise with your school when instructed to do so by your dean. Marshals will direct candidates to the stage.
    • Present your printed name card to the name reader as you cross the stage. As your name is read, move to stage center to receive diploma cover and congratulations, exit the stage and return to your original seat. Remain standing until you are instructed to be seated.
    • When all candidates have returned to their original seats, the Chancellor will direct you to shift your tassels to the left as a symbol of graduation and then instruct you to be seated.
    • Please honor your fellow candidates, who have also worked hard for this moment, by treating them with dignity and respect.
  • Recessional (Ceremony Concludes):
    • Following the completion of the ceremony, the recessional of graduates will flow out to the perimeter of the The Great Lawn. Please meet your guests by the appropriate alphabetical (surname-alpha) signs.
  • Diplomas
    • Because semester records will not be available by the date of commencement, the conferring of degrees at the ceremony is provisional, pending verification that degree requirements have been met. Diplomas can be picked up at KISC in ‘Ilima 102 approximately 12 weeks after the end of the semester. All graduating students will be notified through email when their diploma is ready for pick up. To receive your diploma by mail, complete a “Request to Mail Diploma” form (be sure to check on postal costs for mailing outside the United States). For further information, email:
  • Photographs
    • Audience members MUST take photographs from their seats only. A photographer will take a photograph of each candidate receiving his/her diploma. After commencement, you will receive an email message from the photographer with a link to view your proof online. You may order additional photographs at that time.
    • If you do not wish to have your contact information forwarded to the photographer so that he may send your proof, please submit your request in writing NO LATER THAN TWO WEEKS before the Commencement Exercises, to Please be advised that last minute requests may not be accommodated.
  • Questions?
    • Please call the Graduation Office at KISC or email:, if you have any questions about the KCC commencement exercises. Graduation eligibility inquiries should be directed to your academic advisor.


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